Where to Go on Holiday in January


When Christmas is just a distant memory and you’re wiped out from the festive season, a holiday in January is just the thing to kick the winter blues. And better still, as it’s not peak season everywhere, there are some fantastic deals to be had too.

The best places to holiday in January let you catch the fresh powder skiing in France or Italy, get a dose of culture in India and Thailand, hit the sunny plains of South Africa, or have a rainforest adventure in Costa Rica, to name just a few. Here is Scott Dunn’s list of where to go on holiday in January to carry on the festive fun into the new year.

What Are the Best Holidays for January Sun?

There is no better feeling than getting off an airplane and feeling the sun on your face, particularly when it’s January in the UK. For winter sun at the start of the year, there are some fantastic options, whether you want sightseeing and new experiences or it’s the call of a seriously luxurious hotel that lures you. Read on for our top picks for January holidays in the sun.

Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa
South Africa

January in South Africa is always a good idea. There’s even a name for the slew of arrivals that head there for the winter from the UK, the sparrows. Cape Town and the Winelands are ideal at this time of year, from the rugged beaches to the Michelin-star restaurants, spend your days outdoors soaking up the Vitamin D and eating incredible food. Stay at Babylonstoren in Franschhoek, with its stunning gardens and own winery. For thrilling wildlife encounters on safari, head to the Eastern Cape or the Kalahari, which have the best climate in South Africa in January. It’s rainy...

Royal bengal tiger, Rajasthan, India

India offers a colourful assault on the senses, where cities are abuzz with people and the hum of rickshaw horns fill the air. But delve beneath this frenetic exterior and you’ll find a charming and deeply spiritual country. You have your pick when it comes to January holiday destinations in India, thanks to a hot climate throughout. Choose between the beaches of Goa, Kerala, or the Andaman Islands, a wealth of forts, palaces, and temples in Rajasthan, or head in search of the tigers in central India. The Oberoi, Aman and Taj hotel groups all have amazing properties around India, while if you’re looking for something more boutique, Kerala, in particular, has some charming...

Boats on the shore in Krabi, Thailand

Thailand has long been a firm favourite with travellers looking for hot holiday destinations in January and with white sand beaches, spectacular national parks, and an array of cultural delights, it's not hard to see why. In January, stick to the west coast beaches of Phuket, Krabi, Koh Lanta, Khao Lak or Koh Yao Noi where the azure waters are especially calm and welcoming, and the diving is out of this world. Hotels in Thailand are exceptional, with service that is attentive without being imposing,...

Where Are the Best Skiing Holidays in January?

With all the powder of February but without the wait times for the lifts or drinks at après ski, skiing holidays in January will leave you feeling very smug. Many resorts offer more than just skiing too, with alpine activities for all and Scott Dunn Kids’ Clubs to boot.

Val d`Isère, France

For the quintessential ski holiday head to the Alps, where we have luxurious accommodation options that range from cosy chalets to five-star hotels. Plus, there’s Scott Dunn Explorers’ Club for the little ones in Val d’Isere and Courchevel. Both resorts are ideal for families and couples thanks to their lively village life, high altitude, and glossy ski in – ski out hotels. Their slopes are reliably snowy, particularly in January, and set up for all standards of skiers from beginner to expert. And those who prefer to shop, spa or walk will be in heaven too.

Person skiing the Sella Ronda in San Cassiano Itlay

Blue skies, fresh powder, well-linked runs, and delicious Italian cuisine, the Dolomites in January could be just what the doctor ordered. The main ski area, known as the Dolomites Superski, makes up 12 resorts including San Cassiano and Val Gardena, totalling 760 miles of ski runs. Further west is the Brenta Dolomites where you'll find the chic resort of Madonna di Campiglio, with a high-altitude ski area, excellently linked by ski lifts. Hotels in the Dolomites are a stylish blend of Italian and Austrian influences – think cosy, alpine style - and many have excellent spas too. As well as being excellent for skiing holidays in January, this beautiful landscape is perfect for those who enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice climbing or sledging.

What Are the Best Destinations for New Year Holidays?

Start the New Year with an adventure for you and your family to do something bucket-list worthy like seeing the Northern Lights, looking for Father Christmas in Lapland or sleeping in a treehouse hotel.

Reindeer in Finland

Finland is packed full of memorable and seriously fun experiences to share with those you love. You’ve got the Northern Lights for starters, and then there’s snowmobiles to whizz through the mountains, skiing, saunas, Michelin-star restaurants, climbing frozen walls or sleeping in an igloo. For younger kids, there’s always Father Christmas to seek out and thank for being so generous that year. Throw into the mix a capital city full of avant-garde bars and restaurants, as well as luxury treehouse hotels and cabins in the wilderness, and you’ve got the recipe for an out-of-this-world January holiday destination.

Cabin in Swedish Lapland covered in snow

Go off grid and reconnect after a busy time with a holiday in Sweden in January. In Swedish Lapland treehouse hotels and teepees await, surrounded by pristine nature, tall pine trees and brisk Arctic air. After a day of husky sledding, seeing the Northern Lights or going Nordic skiing, bunk down in one of the most unique hotels you’ll ever see like Treehotel. A few nights in Stockholm will introduce you to the stylish world of Sweden’s capital, with some of the best restaurants in the world, cool shops, creative galleries and a thriving nightlife scene.

Mount Teide in Tenerife, Spain

Tenerife, where a four-hour flight will take you to temperatures in the mid-twenties, offering up an easy, breezy warm holiday in January. The Canary Island has shaken off its party town reputation and has so much more than sunshine to offer. With National Parks, volcanic landscapes, top-notch restaurants, and whale watching on a glorious coastline, Tenerife is positively thriving. Base yourself at the Ritz Carlton Abama, which has everything you need for a relaxing holiday, from kids’ clubs to a golf course and excellent restaurant choices.

Where Are the Best Beach Holidays in January?

Bleached white, powdery beaches under startling sunshine or grey, rainy UK days? It’s no contest, is it? Ditching your woollies for the sand between your toes is the kind of joy that can keep you going all year. Whether you’re dreaming of a seaplane to the Maldives, that first rum punch in the Caribbean or a Robinson Crusoe-style experience on an island far far away, these are the best beach holidays in January.

Aerial view of COMO Maalafushi

A picture speaks a thousand words when it comes to the Maldives, the archipelago of the most beautiful beaches in the world needs no introduction. It is not a question of whether you should go to the Maldives in January, but more a case of which hotel should you choose. Each one is its own slice of private island paradise and January is one of the best times to visit. Let our travel experts guide you to the right hotel, whether it needs to be family-friendly or adults-only, be about barefoot luxury or have a world-class spa, each has its own character, and we will make sure you find the one.

Spider monkey in a tree in Costa Rica
Costa Rica

There’s a special energy to Costa Rica that’s unlike anywhere else; laid-back, welcoming and rejuvenating. A holiday here promises exhilarating activities, phenomenal scenery, unusual wildlife, and perfect beaches. Hike through the jungle on the lookout for monkeys and sloths as they peer at you from their treetop homes, sip cold drinks after surfing the Pacific or Caribbean Ocean, and generally recharge your batteries. First-time visitors to Costa Rica will love our Epic Costa Rica tour, which gives snapshots of all that is great about the country, combining culture and wildlife with beaches and hammocks.

Tea plantations in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

If you like your winter beach holidays with an added dose of adventure, Sri Lanka should be top of your list to visit this January. Sticking mainly to the West and South coasts, you’ll find tropical retreats, balmy sunny days and prime surfing conditions, perfect for groups with travellers who prefer action over rest. Once you’re done with the beach, January is the ideal time for visiting the tea plantations and going on safari for any wildlife buffs.

Beach at Jumby Bay Island, Antigua

Antigua’s heady mix of tropical beauty and candy-coloured colonial buildings is hard to resist any time of year, particularly for holidays in January. With 365 beaches to choose from you’ll always find an empty stretch from which to watch the world go by and quickly sink into the local way of life with long, slow meals, walks along the sand and swims in the warm, warm sea. Jumby Bay is one of the most exclusive hotels in the area, set on its own island, with villa-style accommodation to suit all sized groups. You can’t help but feel carefree here as you cycle around the island indulging in whatever you fancy, thanks to a generous all-inclusive package.

Where to Travel in Europe in January

If you’re looking for somewhere to travel in January that’s just a quick hop from the UK, then Europe is the answer. Whether you want to start the New Year amongst spellbinding nature or stroll through empty cities stopping for delicious meals, there’s a destination for you.

Hjorundfjorden in Norway

Like so many Scandinavian countries, Norway seems to be wrapped in a sense of calm and stillness, that stretches from the expansive fjords to the rocky mountaintops. Start in Oslo, a foodie's holy grail, wander around one of the city’s captivating museums, take in the art scene in one of the many cool commercial galleries and applaud the fine architecture everywhere. Norwegian countryside is cold in January but if you want to venture to the unspoilt wilderness of the Fjords, take a flight to Alesund to stay at the Storfjord Hotel, where log cabins and roaring fires will keep you warm while you explore the area.

Seville Spain, Plaza de Espana

Heading to Spain for a holiday in January means discovering the beautiful cities without the summer crowds, soaking up the cultural festivals or unwinding in a countryside finca. Head to Andalucia, where places such as Seville, Grenada and Cordoba have exquisite architecture, empty cobbled streets, and reservations at the top restaurants without a problem. Temperatures hover around 20C and blue skies prevail making Andalucia an ideal mini break at the start of the year.

Explore the Best Holiday Destinations in January with Scott Dunn

When it comes to the best places to holiday in January, there are the obvious showstoppers, guaranteed to give you a fly-and-flop slice of paradise, and then there are those more off-the-beaten-track, which take a little more planning to create the trip of a lifetime. Whichever appeals to you, Scott Dunn has the inside scoop. Our travel experts have searched high and low for the best hotels, restaurants, and things to do, and we plan each trip specifically for you, down to the last detail. So, for a truly memorable January, get in touch by filling out our online enquiry form today.

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